Firebacks

Manufactured in England

870 results

  1. 696

    stratford,_nashs house 03a.jpg
    ? x ? mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with nutshell edging on a broad fillet; pictorial scene of a standing, winged male figure draped with a cloth, holding a staff in his left hand, above a ground, and with drapery over; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; alternating acanthus leaves with swirled tendrils; on top, two mirrored sea serpents.

    Notes: Presumably intended to represent an angel; similarities in the design and execution of the pattern suggest the work of the pattern-maker identified as ‘N’ (q.v.); the missing segment had been filled with a piece from another fireback (removed in this photo).

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Nash's House, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.

    (part of the Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust museum group)

  2. 697

    stroud_museum 01.jpg
    605 x 480 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; embattled, cavetto moulded edging; central tree with fruit and leaves, a snake, facing right, with a human face in profile entwined, in ‘S’ shape, around the trunk and lower branches; to the left, a naked, bearded male figure holding an apple in his left hand and a branch in his right for modesty; to the right a naked female figure with apple and branch also; the date split either side of the snake and tree trunk.

    Notes: Similarities with an armorial in the date, numerals and edging suggest a common pattern-maker.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 19

    Manufactured: in 1619 in England.

    Current location: Stroud District Museum, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.

    Museum number: STGC 2371 (part of the Stroud Museum museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  3. 698

    sulgrave_manor.jpg
    483 x 762 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with nutshell edging on a broad fillet; pictorial scene of a figure in a chariot drawn by birds, above a ground, and with clouds over; arched rectangular border with fillet edging; alternating acanthus leaves with swirled tendrils; on top, two mirrored sea serpents.

    Notes: Similarities in the design and execution of the pattern suggest the work of the pattern-maker identified as ‘N’.

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in England.

    Current location: Sulgrave Manor, Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, England.

  4. 1021

    sutton,_greenhill 02b.jpg
    870 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; shield mounted on a strap-work cartouche, helm, crest, motto scroll and elaborate swirled mantling.

    Notes: The arms of the Ironmongers' Company; blazon: Argent, on a chevron gules, between three gads of steel azure, three swivels or; crest: two talbots combatant encoupled together or. The true crest of the company has two salamanders (originally 'scaly lizards') rather than talbots, and it has been noted on other firebacks that salamanders are not always represented as amphibians; Samuel Lyne, in his Heraldry Display'd (1741), described the crest as 'two talbots', etc. The motto scroll is blank, indicating that the pattern was an armorial panel with a painted, rather than a carved, motto. A variant of the same fireback has the date 1660 and initials GI (Country Life, 8 March 1946, p. 450; 29 March 1946, p.588). Reeman Dansie auction, Colchester, 13 Apr 2016, lot 1224; Bellman's auction, Wisborough Green, 13 Oct 2021, lot 588 (£220).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  5. 958

    sutton,_greenhill.jpg
    950 x 790 mm

    Description: Rectangle with triangular arch; twisted rope edging (top and sides); centre top, initials in triad, E above; two twisted rope crosses irregularly spaced below initials.

    Notes: The initials, probably of a husband and wife, show minimal extension in the horizontal, although the 'I' has a stud halfway; the crosses almost certainly have an apotropaic purpose; the depth of the casting varies between the top, where it is thickest, and the bottom. Bellman's auction, Wisborough Green, 13 Oct 2021, lot 589 (£420).

    Inscription: IEL [triad]

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, not known.

  6. 829

    swanborough_manor 03.jpg
    663 x 470 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded edging (top and sides); repeated guilloche pattern inside top and side edges; upper centre, lozenge stamp with ovolo edges and recessed daisy flower in centre, between buckle stamp repeated twice; the lozenge stamp is repeated over-stamping the lower part of the first.

    Notes: The lozenge stamp is a design also seen on domestic interior panelling; the buckles suggest a Pelham family association; the buckle and lozenge are separate stamps, and in each example their relative positions differ slightly; the guilloche design appears to have been carved on the base panel; an example at The Star Inn, Alfriston, Sussex measures 665mm x 480mm.

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Iford, East Sussex, England.

  7. 830

    swanborough_manor 04.jpg
    1017 x 600 mm

    Description: Rectangular; stepped fillet moulded edging (top and sides); small fleur-de-lys stamp repeated five times, three centred across the top, two centred across the middle.

    Notes: The fleur-de-lys stamp appears to have been constructed using wire.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Iford, East Sussex, England.

  8. 470

    taddington_manor 02c.jpg
    1085 x 585 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); central Tudor royal shield with encircling garter (motto reversed), separate greyhound and lion supporters, separate crown; rectangular bordered stamp with an animal facing to the right, repeated once above and on each side of the armorial; bold fleur-de-lys stamp repeated once on each side of the armorial below the other stamp; all irregularly positioned.

    Notes: The armorial and fleurs-de-lys are seen together on a plate at Alfriston Clergy House.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, not known.

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  9. 909

    taddington_manor 04.jpg
    617 x 910 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging;lower centre, crowned bust of King William III above a cartouche, orange branches, with leaves and fruit on each side; above, a putto blowing a trumpet; initials on each side of cartouche; date split between bottom corners.

    Notes: A finely detailed image of King William III, the orange branches representing the Dutch House of Oranje; the significance of the date and the initials is not known. It is possible that the bust of the king, the date, initials and the surrounding branches were carved on a separate pattern which was added to an otherwise simple mould comprising an arched rectangular border and the trumpet-blowing putto before casting. Christie's auction, 25 Feb 2014, lot 184 (£6,000).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 96 / AC AL

    Manufactured: in 1696 in England.

    Current location:, not known.

  10. 952

    taddington_manor 05c.jpg
    1117 x 872 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield; rectangular side extensions with twisted rope edging; initial on each extension.

    Notes: The mismatched ‘3’ in the date is likely to have replaced a ‘1’ or ‘2’. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches and a small number of series of firebacks in the first quarter of the 17th century.

    Inscription: T H / 16 34 / ARMES BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1634 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location:, not known.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.